April 30, 2016
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It is Time to make way for Holy Spirit and Fire! Part 2 of Twitter Survey @JoelOsteen

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It is Time to make way for Holy Spirit and Fire! Part 2 of Twitter Survey @JoelOsteen

As I read John Burton’s article posted through Charisma Magazine titled “Is the Holy Spirit a Casualty of Unity”. The Holy Spirit stirs inside, it is time for the Holy Spirit and Fire!   In addition,  the welcoming  manifestations of the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in the Body of Christ.

This brings me further to expand the commentary on the Twitter Survey @JoelOsteen (Part 1).  My commentary moves on to  the person of the Holy Spirit. The person of the Holy Spirit is the spiritual counselor, comforter, and overseer of the body of Christ. Sorely needed, is the person of the Holy Spirit that provides the power and boldness to the body of Christ around the world.

First, a brief recap and clarification of my first article for all intents I will refer to as  Part 1-(link posted later)

The Twitter Survey contributed by Dustin Germain, posted by PulpitandPen.org, highlights that @JoelOsteen presents a Christ- less twitter feed. In doing so @Joel Osteen was depicting a singular presentation of God mostly without Christ, according to the survey.

As I mentioned in my first post-Part 1, which included one of the Apostles warnings to the Galatians   …some are preaching another gospel  taken from Galatians Chapter 1, I joined  that comment with the scriptures that command us to test every spirit in 1 John 4:1-2.

1Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;…

That said, several of the epistles including Paul’s admonishment to Timothy, warning of men’s doctrines and calls the believer to hold firm to the  full Gospel of Jesus Christ

At the time of posting the twitter survey with my commentary on FB, I knew very little about Joel Osteen with the exception of a Larry King Show interview, for which I expressed disappointment with Osteen’s’ response – more of a preference on my part, which I will go into more detail.  Larry King, a skillful TV Host, and interviewer, directly cornered Joel Osteen to admit Homosexuality is a sin- Osteen did so reluctantly. As I learn more about Joel Osteen, it is not his position to talk about sin, Homosexuality or Hell,  for which he is entitled.  He feels people are already under the weight of sin, guilt and does not want to add with public responses that would further burden people. He likes to stay with a positive message doing his best to guard against the judgment on others.

My disappointment was with a response Osteen offered, Homosexuality was a sin. What he wanted to avoid, he leaves the homosexual listening in their sins with his public comments on the show. Christ does not leave, did not leave humanity in their sins through the cross.

The error pointed out to me; this was a 30 minute edited TV show. I will give Joel Osteen the benefit of the doubt. Media and largely the world want to claim any representation of Christianity as bigots and discriminatory with gotcha questions. Nevertheless, the scriptures admonish Christians to be ready to offer the hope of the Gospel that lives in us.

My preference with a response would have been to share the Gospel message of Christ.

What do I mean?

Christ came to remove the weight and burdens of all humanity’s sins on the cross.  Christ did not leave humanity in the middle of sins.  On the contrary, it was in the middle of humanity’s sins that Christ loved us and forgave us, calling humanity out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Could Joel Osteen, just as easily, promoting his motivational books “your best life now” on the show point to a chapter to help the sinner and or the homosexual? Having written several books, could he have drawn from another book where he  addresses the issue of sin and the grace and mercy of Jesus in some form?

Osteen’s interview response begs more questions.

Can you live your best life now burdened by the weight of sin? Can you live a positive life with God, through visions, dreams, positive biblical half-truths (Christ-Less or the cross-less gospel), yet, weighed down by sin, simply ignoring the negative effects of the sinful nature of man? …. Because discussing sin or hell is a negative message, and we Christians should not discuss the negative side of Christianity.

Anyone doing research on Homosexuality knows of the alarming rate of suicide within the Gay community due to the shame and guilt that binds them.  The Gay community needs the full Gospel Message of Jesus Christ’s unconditional love who saves us in the deepest despair of our sins.  At the same time, an aggressive movement (LGBTQ) pushes and bullies the world to accept its immoral agenda and without truth, which keeps the Gay person trapped by lies.

Jesus said, 28″Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29″Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. Matthew 11:28-29

Someone reading this is going to say, ” Hindsight is wonderful”. I will take my licks if I have to get my point across.

There is some benefit from a positive message but what good is it if we do not destroy the sinful nature  in our flesh?

There is a way to know the ways of God more adequately!

The radical message of Christ is that man can be saved by grace through faith. To clarify this Gospel message more so, it gets even more radical than just forgiveness. What religion has said, save Christianity, of the sinful nature of man, “we partake of his divine nature and holy fire, helping us?” He will abide in us through the Holy Spirit promised long ago to the Patriarchs of Faith and now fulfilled until the end when the restrainer is taken from the earth. John’s water baptism was repentance and forgiveness, but he declared Christ would come baptizing man with the Spirit and Fire. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection from the grave make it possible. In Christ, he forgives us, and then lives his life through us- greater is he in us than he who is in the world. What we could not do for ourselves, God has done for us through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit with Fire

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15″If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16″I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.… John 14:15-16
By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given to abide in man, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (paraphrased) John 7:39

Since that earlier FB posting on  Twitter Survey @JoelOsteen, I’ve moved it to my website HeraldSound.com  Click to Read More. Also, a significant addendum was added by me to the  Facebook comments at the time.  However, the comment did not move over to the website article.  I briefly commented the need for fellowship with the trinity opposed to some singular recognition of God, an important distinction regarding the full Gospel message Jesus Christ.

The facebook comment “We cannot have a close relationship with God the father without Christ and without Christ we cannot receive the person of the Holy Spirit who empowers the believer to live for God. Believers’ called to live in the Spirit not according to the flesh. Any other Gospel message leaves us to our own self-determined ways, which ironically is hostility with God and Christ.” [HS-NEWS]

Not least, is the ability to live our Christian walk according to the power that works in us and through us to affect our lives and the world around us with Boldness and Power. The Gospel is the Word of God and the Spirit testifying Jesus Christ.

Now, transitioning to the importance of the Holy Spirit,  the scriptures speak of a Jewish married couple, Pricilla, and Aquila, who helped Apollos more adequately in his ministry of  spreading the Gospel.

Pricilla and Aquila explained to a Jew named Apollo the way of God more adequately. Act 18:24-26

Almost hidden in scriptures, nearing the end of Chapter 18 and continuing on to the first verses of Acts Chapter 19 we gain more insight.  We see a better context of their conversation with Apollos.  Pricilla and Aquila, Roman Jews, who were helping the Apostle Paul in the ministry work of the Gospel mentioned only 6 times in scripture. On this particular occasion, The Apostle Paul moved on to spread the Gospel throughout the provinces of Asia,  while Aquila and Pricilla  stayed behind. After listening to Apollos, they discovered he was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.

25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Pricilla and Aquila, after listening to him, decided Apollos should know the way of God more adequately.

The scriptures do not expound on the details of their conversation devoting only one paragraph to their meeting with Apollos. We do know the Jewish married couple wanted to expand Apollos’ knowledge of Christ.

While Apollos’ knowledge and fervor of Christ were impressive, it was limited to John’s baptism of repentance, which was a water baptism of repentance. Here is what John said at Christ’s baptism recorded by the Apostle Mark’s Gospel account:
Holy Spirit at Jesus Baptism

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11

The Bible accounts recorded in scripture would leave no margin for error. John’s baptism was   tangible to be experienced with repentance- through the immersion of the physical body in water and repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  It was also the same John, who announced in the presence of many witnesses, Jesus would do the same with the baptism of the Spirit and Fire.  Jesus would immerse man into his divine spiritual nature forever changing the sinful nature of man.

Jesus’ baptism of the Holy Spirit would be distinctly more powerful and with fire according to John’s announcement.  John’s baptism of repentance was an outward experience; Christ’s baptism was upon and inward spiritual experience. Christ Gospel may at times be motivational, but his message was to be experienced with tangible power for man. The Apostle John would be the last prophet of the Old Testament heralding the New Testament between God and Man.

Where is my evidence Pricilla and Aquila discussed the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with Apollos?

1. The Bible’s chapter and verse will at times disrupt a free flow of the original letters.  In reading Acts 18 and 19 as a letter, you can continue to read where Paul asks the Ephesians about the two distinct baptisms.

2. As the Apostle Paul was spreading the Gospel throughout the provinces, he arrived in Ephesus where he encountered some disciples.  For Paul, the emphasis in his ministry was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. The Apostle Paul, no small figure of the NT. He is the Jewish Apostle, appointed by God, to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people of the world).  It stands to reason Pricilla and Aquila, co-workers with the Apostle Paul, would instruct Apollos about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.  Read as Paul approaches the Ephesians and his emphasis on the Holy Spirit to the Early Church in the book of Acts.[ HS Emphasis Mine]

Paul in Ephesus

1While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied. 4Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19: 1-7

Connecting the two events in Acts 18:24-26 and Acts 19:1-7, you can see how the Holy Spirit’s baptism with speaking tongues was important to the work of the Apostle Paul and his ministry in spreading the Gospel. The entire book of Acts is really about the Acts of the Holy Spirit.  In Peter’s life he saw the Gentile family of Cornelius’s household experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and came around fully to realize, after a vision on the a rooftop, God was accepting Gentiles into the family of God. The evidence was a manifestation of the Spirit coming upon the Gentiles in much the same way those gathered in the upper on the day of Pentecost.  Acts 10:9-16, Acts 10:17-48[HS]

There is a way to know the ways of God more adequately!

The word of God renews our minds; the Holy Spirit brings fire and life to our inner beings to empower us to live for God. Christianity was never to live out in a self-determined way. Christ is God in us through the Holy Spirit to do his will, partaking of his divine nature. Through God’s promises long ago to the Patriarchs of Faith, the Patriarchs looked forward, by Faith we receive that which was promised by God through his son Christ. On the day of Pentecost Peter stood up and declared the  scriptures are fulfilled [HS]

…32″This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33″Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this, which you both see and hear.

The Baptism of Holy Spirit was a critical message of the Apostle Peter to the Jewish believers and to the Apostle Paul’s ministry to the Non-Jewish believers, then why is not today?  …..Nothing in scriptures says otherwise.

Quite honestly, it creeps me out when fervent preachers preach messages on just Grace, or just the Word of God and never mentioning or  opening the door for the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, or just a positive Christ-less, Cross-less message, or a motivational message, even worse.  There, I said it, it creeps me out! While it can do some good, it denies the power of God in the believer’s life. [HS]

Onto John Burton’s article

In John Burton’s article “Is the Holy Spirit a Casualty of Unity?

The premAre you ready for the Comforter to come?ise of the article deals with the Body of Christ pushing aside the Holy Spirit in favor of Unity but considered it was time to allow the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit to come to the fore- front in the  ministry of the Church. I  have put together several paragraphs from the article of
importance relating to my commentary. You will be able to find the web link below taking you to John Burton’s full article, which I highly recommend. [HS]

 

  1. It’s extremely important to me that you grasp just how much I value people who are devoted to Christ, deep in the Word and living a life of integrity—whether they embrace the gifts of the Spirit or not. There are some absolutely amazing, humble, servant-hearted Christians out there who touch my heart deeply. Many of them are brilliant leaders who are models of both passion and compassion for the people on God’s heart. I look up to them and desire to emulate their lives.

 

  1. Unity, fellowship, and love should be pursued and guarded. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21, ESV).

 

From my personal observation, several years ago, John Mc Arthur, an American Pastor, and Author began to teach a message called Strange Fire. McArthur’s teachings amounted to a direct attack on Spirit-Filled Churches as he disputed the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Gifts of the Spirit, including the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements.Thankfully, in response to those Strange Fire teachings, RT Kendall came out with a response that I believe brings great balance to the Body of Christ called Holy Fire. In his book, Kendall presents the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. He (Kendall) takes the time to discuss where mistakes and abuses occurred with the different revival movements. Important to note, RT Kendal never minimizes the importance of the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit in the believer’s life and the life of the Church. He offers a practical approach to enhancing the special relationship with the third person of the Godhead. Was the Charismatic movement real? Yes.  The Church grew in numbers with boldness and power. Many lives were changed, and my life was changed. Through Christ’s forgiveness my sins wiped clean, my addictions disappeared, my language changed and more…  After accepting Christ, I began my Christian walk speaking in unknown tongues, filled with the spirit of God at a Monday miracle rally, experiencing God, not just reading about him in scripture or some message.

Has the Holy Spirit stopped being poured out on all flesh or taking a break? The Spirit of God has not stopped since the initial outpouring on the day of Pentecost.  When people say they are looking for the third move of God, what they are saying is they are waiting for an awakening in today’s culture, the problem is not on God’s end. Currently, hungry Muslim Nations and China are experiencing great revivals as the foundations of their nations are cracking. They are experiencing dreams and visions of Christ appearing to them.  These nations of people are hearing the gospel, responding in faith and  converting to Christ. The Holy Spirit is giving them life – they are experiencing healing, deliverance hope, and peace in the midst of turmoil and persecution.

Will there be an awakening happening now in America? There are pockets, regions of the country, Spirit-filled churches experiencing revival. Recently, West Virginia, my wife’s home state is experiencing a revival in High Schools across the State  Click here. (Pat Robertson 700 club video)  Unfortunately, the larger picture for America, churches have fallen to political correctness, they prefer unity before the moving of the Holy Spirit and remain quiet as America falls into spiritual decline. The result is people are hurting- where the spirit of Lord is there is freedom! The Word of God is diluted, treated as antiquated- ignored. The Holy Spirit pushed aside for church programs or a motivational message.

In addition, the fallout on debates; theology and teachings like Strange Fire gave way to favor unity in the Body of Christ at large and dampened the Holy Spirit to move in many churches in this last decade.  A quote from John Burton’s article The Holy Spirit called the comforter makes people uncomfortable. A poll came out showing Charismatic’s rarely speak in tongues anymore. A better indication of pushing the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit aside [HS- Emphasis Mine]

3.
I saw something on a church website that disturbed him. What I read sounds good, and a lot of churches and ministries are adopting this philosophy, but that’s all it is—a philosophy. I believe it’s extremely dangerous. We simply cannot reject the activity of the Holy Spirit in the hopes that unity results.
Here’s what was posted: Those who claim to possess the gift of tongues and other sign gifts are welcome to worship and fellowship with us if they are willing to be a source of unity rather than division within our church body. UNNAMED CHURCH seeks to prevent the propagation of doctrines that would cause divisions within an individual church. Therefore, members of and adherents of UNNAMED CHURCH are not to propagate the teachings and emphases of the current charismatic movement. This being said, I do believe we have underestimated the necessity of the Holy Spirit and His gifts—to the detriment of true, biblical unity and to kingdom advance.
Mark records the final words of Jesus before he left the earth to be: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18, ESV).
It is the time we as Spirit-filled believers humbly admit that we cannot accomplish much of anything without the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Read John Burton’s full article  
 

It is Time for the Holy Spirit to bring Fire back to the Body of Christ

 

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